Grid art today makes for a themed themeless of a sort. There is a very realistic representation of a LIGHTBULB in the middle, with WHATSTHEBIGIDEA riding right across the top of it. I've been trying to decide if THATISTOSAY and NOWLETMESEE are part of the theme as well, but in either case, I love the colloquialisms.
The NW corner was the last to fall for me, although in retrospect it doesn't seem that crazy hard. In particular, I should have been able to get 22A: "Awake in the Dark" author (EBERT). I'm sure I've seen that exact reference more or less in the past. Similarly 20A: Bathroom or beach supply (LOTION) is pretty obvious now.
Meanwhile, 31A: [Don't you think you're milking it a bit too much?] (MOO) got a serious groan from me. Wow, that's a lot of work for the pun. Is the question mark in the clue actually a clue question mark, indicating the pun? Can we call this a hidden question mark clue then? I like that idea.
Meanwhile, 3D: "Hope" and "Friendship," for two (STATEMOTTOS) is great. I'd never ever heard the term ECHOBOOMERS before, but the term's been around since 2004 at least. Apparently Millenials have similar demographic characteristics to the Baby Boomer generation.
I am impressed by the smoothness of the center section, especially crossing IRAQWAR with CONQUEST ("Mission accomplished," Dubya pronounced prematurely).
A fine puzzle. Nice work, gentlemen.